Docu-day: The Judge - Humanity House


14 Jan

Doc + Talk

Docu-day: The Judge

‘The Judge’ provides rare insight into Shari’a law, told through the eyes of the first female judge to be appointed to the Middle East’s religious courts. 

When she was a young lawyer, Kholoud Al-Faqih walked into the office of Palestine’s Chief Justice and announced she wanted to join the bench. He laughed at her. But just a few years later, Kholoud became the first woman judge to be appointed to the Middle East’s Shari’a (Islamic law) courts.

‘The Judge’ offers a unique portrait of Judge Kholoud: her brave journey as a lawyer, her tireless fight for justice for women, and her drop-in visits with clients, friends, and family. With unparalleled access to the courts, ‘The Judge’ presents an unfolding vérité legal drama, with rare insight into both Islamic law and gendered justice. In the process, the film illuminates some of the universal conflicts in the domestic life of Palestine – custody of children, divorce, abuse – while offering an unvarnished look at life for women and Shari’a.


After the film we talk with Nadia Sonneveld, editor of the book ‘Women Judges in the Muslim World: A Comparative Study of Discourse and Practice’. Nadia is senior researcher on gender and law in the Muslim world at Radboud University, Nijmegen.

What others thought

According to Point of View: In an era doomed by volatility and political duplicity, The Judge’s importance is bound to soar. The Globe wrote: ‘the documentary is an inspiration to women – not just in the Middle East – who are determined to rise to the top of their professions, despite the odds being stacked against them.’

About this program

We start the new season with two beautiful documentaries from IDFA 2017. This whole Sunday afternoon you can retreat at the Humanity House and let yourself be moved and surprised by ‘The Distant Barking of Dogs’, about the war in Eastern Ukraine seen through the eyes from 10-year-old Oleg and ‘The Judge’, about the first female Sharia judge in the Middle East.

Do you want to see both films? Buy a passe-partout.

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  • English
  • 13:00
  • 13:30
  • 15:30